Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Toronto FC Continues Search for Talent, Still Hopes to Land Argentina's Urutti

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Toronto FC Continues Search for Talent, Still Hopes to Land Argentina's Urutti

Article excerpt

Toronto FC continues search for talent


TORONTO - Having just added a Spanish winger and Swiss fullback, Toronto FC still has its eyes set on landing a marquee designated player in addition to young Argentine forward Maximiliano Urutti.

"We're working pretty much 24 hours a day on some fairly sizable signings," team president Kevin Payne told reporters after practice Friday at the MLS club's north Toronto training centre.

"We're coming up to the end of the transfer period, these things are all complicated but I do hope we'll have some news before the transfer period ends."

The transfer window closes Aug. 8 but after that MLS teams have until Sept. 15 to sign players out of contract.

Toronto (3-10-8) has signed 22 new players since the end of last season, with 25 going out the door. Only seven players on the current roster were with the team last year.

The latest newcomers are 24-year-old Spanish winger Alvaro Rey, who saw 16 minutes action off the bench in last Saturday's 2-1 win over Columbus, and 25-year-old Swiss fullback Jonas Elmer, who arrived Thursday.

Toronto has been after Urutti for months, with chief scout Pat Onstad playing Captain Ahab in search of the Argentine Moby Dick.

"We've chased him a long time," said Payne. "We've watched him many, many, many times. Pat Onstad has seen him live on a number of occasions.

"Our opinion of him has never wavered. We think he'll be an outstanding player in our league. So we pursue that diligently."

Urutti has severed his ties to Argentine club Newell's Old Boys, which may ease his passage north.

"We really think that Urutti's a player that will be one of the absolute top forwards in (MLS)," Payne said. "We think he will bang in goals."

Goals have been an issue for Toronto whose top two strikers -- designated player Danny Koevermans and Robert Earnshaw - have been battling injuries.

Only D.C. United with 10, has scored fewer goals than Toronto (19).

Payne declined to identify the designated player in question or respond to reports of the club's interest in Uruguayan World Cup star forward Diego Forlan.

Toronto already has two designated players in Koevermans and Argentine midfielder Matias Laba. …

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